Center for Systems Solutions

Wrocław, Poland

Center for Systems Solutions

Wrocław, Poland
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Costanza R.,Australian National University | Chichakly K.,ISEE Systems | Dale V.,Oak Ridge National Laboratory | Farber S.,University of Pittsburgh | And 17 more authors.
Ecosystem Services | Year: 2014

Humans currently spend over 3 billion person-hours per week playing computer games. Most of these games are purely for entertainment, but use of computer games for education has also expanded dramatically. At the same time, experimental games have become a staple of social science research but have depended on relatively small sample sizes and simple, abstract situations, limiting their range and applicability. If only a fraction of the time spent playing computer games could be harnessed for research, it would open up a huge range of new opportunities. We review the use of games in research, education, and entertainment and develop ideas for integrating these three functions around the idea of ecosystem services valuation. This approach to valuation can be seen as a version of choice modeling that allows players to generate their own scenarios taking account of the trade-offs embedded in the game, rather than simply ranking pre-formed scenarios. We outline a prototype game called "Lagom Island" to test the proposition that gaming can be used to reveal the value of ecosystem services. Our prototype provides a potential pathway and functional building blocks for approaching the relatively untapped potential of games in the context of ecosystem services research. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Magnuszewski P.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis | Magnuszewski P.,Center for Systems Solutions | Ostasiewicz K.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis | Ostasiewicz K.,Wroclaw University of Economics | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Shifting cultivation is a traditional agricultural practice in most tropical regions of the world and has the potential to provide for human livelihoods while hosting substantial biodiversity. Little is known about the resilience of shifting cultivation to increasing agricultural demands on the landscape or to unexpected disturbances. To investigate these issues, we develop a simple social-ecological model and implement it with literature-derived ecological parameters for six shifting cultivation landscapes from three continents. Analyzing the model with the tools of dynamical systems analysis, we show that such landscapes exhibit two stable states, one characterized by high forest cover and agricultural productivity, and another with much lower values of these traits. For some combinations of agricultural pressure and ecological parameters both of these states can potentially exist, and the actual state of the forest depends critically on its historic state. In many cases, the landscapes' 'ecological resilience', or amount of forest that could be destroyed without shifting out of the forested stability domain, declined substantially at lower levels of agricultural pressure than would lead to maximum productivity. A measure of 'engineering resilience', the recovery time from standardized disturbances, was independent of ecological resilience. These findings suggest that maximization of short-term agricultural output may have counterproductive impacts on the long-term productivity of shifting cultivation landscapes and the persistence of forested areas. © 2015 Magnuszewski et al.

Sendzimir J.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis | Reij C.P.,United International University Dhanmondi | Magnuszewski P.,Center for Systems Solutions
Ecology and Society | Year: 2011

The societies and ecosystems of the Nigerien Sahel appeared increasingly vulnerable to climatic and economic uncertainty in the late twentieth century. Severe episodes of drought and famine drove massive livestock losses and human migration and mortality. Soil erosion and tree loss reduced a woodland to a scrub steppe and fed a myth of the Sahara desert relentlessly advancing southward. Over the past two decades this myth has been shattered by the dramatic reforestation of more than 5 million hectares in the Maradi and Zinder Regions of Niger. No single actor, policy, or practice appears behind this successful regreening of the Sahel. Multiple actors, institutions and processes operated at different levels, times, and scales to initiate and sustain this reforestation trend. We used systems analysis to examine the patterns of interaction as biophysical, livelihood, and governance indicators changed relative to one another during forest decline and rebound. It appears that forest decline was reversed when critical interventions helped to shift the direction of reinforcing feedbacks, e.g., vicious cycles changed to virtuous ones. Reversals toward de-forestation or reforestation were preceded by institutional changes in governance, then livelihoods and eventually in the biophysical environment. Biophysical change sustained change in the other two domains until interventions introduced new ideas and institutions that slowed and then reversed the pattern of feedbacks. However, while society seems better at coping with economic or climatic shock or stress, the resilience of society and nature in the Maradi/Zinder region to global sources of uncertainty remains a pressing question in a society with one of the highest population growth rates on Earth.© 2011 by the author(s).

Stefanska J.,Center for Systems Solutions | Magnuszewski P.,Center for Systems Solutions | Sendzimir J.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis | Romaniuk P.,Center for Systems Solutions | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Policy and Governance | Year: 2011

This paper describes a new gaming tool that allows players (e.g. water managers and farmers) to explore the consequences of their interactions in managing river floodplains. To facilitate the process of creating and testing new policies that would help to accommodate disordering events, e.g. floods, we developed a system dynamics model of floodplain agriculture that drives an interactive game. The Floodplain Management Game can be used as an educational resource, knowledge elicitation technique or transition management tool for agriculture and river management. The key feature is that it unites technical (problem-solving) and relational issues in one game. In multiple areas it has proven a useful tool for participants to experience the challenges of policy-making for managing rivers as well as for floodplain agriculture and for scientists to examine how stakeholders make decisions about such options. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

Walsh A.,Ernst and Youngs Financial Services Office | Magnuszewski P.,Center for Systems Solutions | Slodka-Turner A.,Center for Systems Solutions
Economic Affairs | Year: 2012

This article argues that lessons on how to achieve a sustainable financial system can be learnt from the work done on sustainable commons (on common-pool resources - CPRs - where there is no 'tragedy of the commons'). Existing approaches to financial regulation may not give proper attention to available solutions. The article proposes that innovative solutions could be tested using experimental methods commonly used in CPRs: repeat run, feedback driven games. © 2012 The Authors. Economic Affairs. © 2012 Institute of Economic Affairs.

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